Soooo. Ive bloddy got the sub 40 10k millstone off my neck. I did it.
Great race in the end. The weather improved bang on 09:30 just in time for the race after Leeds looked like something out of a biblical film all weekend. I got in a good pen but was still about 1000 runners back from the start. Tis a very big race.
Because of this I was forced to run at the pace of runners infront of me due to the traffic. It proved my making as I ran the first mile in 6.10 and not the crazy 5.45 I normally do for a 10k.
Dug in quite well and did 6.21. 6.29 for the next 2 and went through half way in 19.42. In fact the weather had lifted so much that I was starting to overheat at this point in the baselayer I had put on in prediction of armageddon. No matter to late now, but boy was it hot.
Mile 4 felt like a struggle as it was ever so slightly uphill. This is where I normally fade so I really gritted my teeth and dug in 6.25.
Mile 5 and my legs seemed to open up. I just found another gear and really put in a solid mile 6.17 and this set me up for the infamous 'ramp' that all Leeds city races goes up into town. Its a brutal feature that leads you up onto the final straight along the finish at the Headrow. The ramp has broken me many times. But not today. Powered straight up it and finished that mile in 6.32 onto the final 0.2
My watch read 38.15, I just needed to turn on the afterburners and I was home. I think I pulled out the greatest ever Fitz-G sprint finish of my life and I was over the line in 39.45. with that last 0.2 ran at 05:30 pace. Only the 15 or so attempts at this distance but im glad to have put this one to bed.
On a side note I was on twitter yesterday and was using the hashtag #abbeydash and was pretty gobsmacked that people were slating off the race for things like not getting a medal (ahh diddums) , timing not being available until today, the finish sign being taken down, lack of drink stations. Apart from the medal the others were explained by the appalling weather and its something that you cant really have a pop at the organisers for. Yet people do so in their droves. This for me is the only bad side of big city races. You get these part-time runners who rock up and expect a silver service experience and have completely unrealistic and high expectations. bah humbug
Rob. Great work on that Marathon pal. The course didnt sound very firm and probably worth the equivalent of a few more miles worth of extra effort over the whole thing. Was it a club race or quite a big corporate race? If the latter then inexcusable race organisation.
Carl. If your son is 12 and gets the running bug now, you do know he'll be faster then you in just 3 measly years. Enjoy those 3 years when you're faster then him pal. lol
Ali. Life does tend to have a habit of getting in the way of things so dont beat yourself up to much if you cant take on the road. I think it takes something like 5-6 weeks of no running for your fitness and performance to start sliding, so long way to go. NB My XC season starts on Nov 22. A quite muddy and technical course at Golden Acre park in Leeds. Its one of my favourites and im glad thats the one kicking it off.
Carter: Hows the knee pal? Knees can be persistant so hope all is well with it.
So I did my last hard run ahead of the Abbey Dash on Sunday. Pyramid track session 400, 800, 1200, 1200, 800, 400, totalling 3 miles exactly. Covered in 16:30 at 05:30 average pace. I gave it my all and legs feel rightly shredded today. How they should after a track sesh.
Im going to go to circuits tonight to give the core a tune up then maybe a couple of recovery runs on Thurs / Fri and certainly a SLOWWWWW parkrun on saturday. No silliness from me a as I think my kamakazi parkrun the day before royal parks HM kinda played a part in my raceday woes.
Carter. yep The Leeds inner ring road one way loop claims another victim. I remember the first time I arrived in Leeds I was baffled. Its the worst designed road system in the UK.
5 miles out and back at lunch for me yesterday. Was supposed to be a recovery run but I ended up in a one on one race with one of the regular lunchtime runners I often see on the canal.
He's built more like a rugby player then a runner but he defies his frame and easily cruises along at a 6.45 pace by my estimation. Impressive
When I turned after 2.5 miles for the return leg I saw him coming the other way and knew he would be turning back at roughly the same place. And sure enough he did and at this point I reckon I was 200m ahead of him.
The chase had begun and for some reason I just didn't want him to pass me for like the umteenth time on that particular day. So my recovery run suddenly became a 2.5 mile tempo run at 6.50 pace.
He is quite a flat footed runner so I could hear him all the way back, and I kept thinking does this guy even know i'm racing him? Am I being sad here? Need to play it cool, mustn't look back. lol.
The footfall got louder and louder, until with literally 400m to go he drew level with me and started passing me. nooooooo. Then he just turned to me and said ' come on don't let me win'. Fair play to him in acknowledging our little battle and at that cue I switched on the Fitz-G afterburners. We had a cracking final sprint to the canal lock that signaled the finish and........................It was a dead heat. Yep we crossed the line simultaneously, shook hands and gave each other that knowing nod of respect for our endeavors.
So even though I didn't really want to run that fast, my mundane lunchtime run that i've done hundreds of times before became quite a cracking little ad-hoc race with my new lunchtime buddy. Looking forward to the next round already.
PS: Great effort and well done for digging in. I suffer exactly the same fade at the end of longer races and I just cant put my finger on it either. I would love to run NYC one day but I guess all the waiting around and security checks would possibly put me off. But I guess all major US marathons have that element now due to global events etc. The marine corps marathon is one ive also eyed up as a possible.
Nell: Super work on the 10K . I am dreaming for a time like that in the Leeds Abbey Dash next weekend. Please do post the splits I want to see what all over the place looks like for you. I bet its only a 10s drop off you are so consistent. lol.
Carter. Yeah it was abysmal from Arsenal and Giroud needed shooting as he looked so uninterested in playing at Hillsborough. Im undecided as yet if ill do Manchester again TBH. Its a fast course for sure but the course itself just didnt do it for me. Apart from the nice bit through the suburbs like cheadle etc the rest of the course was pretty grim, and I include Old Trafford in that. lol
Carl 2015 in 2015. wow. Top bombing. Im only on 1250 miles currently so would have to run 100 miles per week or something daft to do it.
Ali. Yep snowdonia still is strong in the memory. It was something special alright. Highly recommend,.
So ive got the Abbey dash a week on sunday. Put in a good 19.45 on my local and very hill parkrun on saturday. Super pleased with that straight off the back of a marathon.
Run a great steady state 4.5 miles yesterday at 7.20 pace and all feels good. Except a weirdo who was walking as I ran past him, started running and following me in the fog for about half a mile. Super creepy and weirded me out. I was all psyched up to dish out some Fitz-G street justice if he didnt stop following me when he did. lol
I finally think my injury woes are firmly behind me, well for now anyway. Tonight its a club hill tempo session being run by the climbs mountain goat runner. Its probably going to be as tough as it sounds, but I cant wait. lol. Hopefully all shaping up well for me to crack this sub 40 10k just like Nell.